How do we grow Manistique Bible Church?
The answer to that question is simple and directly related to the purpose of the church. The purpose of the church is to glorify God. God has defined two primary functions by which the church brings Him glory. In the church we edify one another. Believers gather together each week to build up one another to be more like Jesus. In the community we evangelize the unsaved. Christians go out into the world to preach the gospel. We use all holy means to edify one another and evangelize the unsaved so God will be glorified.
The Biblical functions given to the church are also the Biblical means given to increase the church. God has designed the church to add to its numbers through the edification of it’s members. Edification involves the training and equipping of believers to preach the gospel. The church gathering is not intended to be the primary place where ministry occurs. The church gathering is the place where believers are prepared to go into the world to minister. As equipped believers go back into the community with the gospel the local church will grow. If you desire to see Manistique Bible Church grow, then give the gospel to your friends and neighbors.
Efforts to grow the church today are centered around bringing the unsaved into the building so the pastor or church leaders can preach the gospel to them. This church growth model overlooks a key reality. The unsaved have no desire for the gathering of believers, the singing together in praise to God and admonition of other, the praying of the saints, the teaching of the Word or the teaching of the Word of God. The only to make a church service genuinely appealing to the lost is to replace the Biblical components of a church with events crafted to entice the unsaved heart.
The Biblical model of church growth is counter-intuitive. Biblical church growth does not focus on attracting the lost into the church gathering, but on taking the gospel to the lost. One danger of the attractional model of evangelism is it implies preaching the gospel is best left to those who have special training. The pattern of the New Testament is of all believers giving the gospel, not just a select few. The gospel turned the first century world upside down because Spirit filled Christians took the gospel with them every where they went. The average believer preached salvation to his neighbors, servants, customers and rulers. How do we grow Manistique Bible Church? We grow this church by each member proclaiming the gospel to the individuals you meet in this community. This idea is not complicated, revolutionary or likely to sell books. This model has one great advantage found in no other church growth model. Church growth by personal evangelism is the Biblical model. Hudson Taylor said, “God’s word, done by God’s way, will never lack God’s supply.” If you want to see Manistique Bible Church grow, give the gospel.